Posts Tagged ‘WEF’
Governance Research Digest – March 2013
In collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Green Growth Action Alliance Initiative, Accenture released a report that informs policy-makers and public and private finance providers how to close the gap in delivering inclusive, sustainable growth. The Green Investment Report: The Ways and Means to Unlock Private Finance for Green Growth highlights that governments need to strategically target their public finance to attract private capital into green investment through measures such as guarantees, insurance products and incentives, combined with the right policy support.
- Approximately US$ 34 billion in additional public funding is needed to stablize global temperatures at an acceptable level—less than the US$50 billion recently approved by the United States Congress for rebuilding resilience after Hurricane Sandy.
- By increasing climate-related public funding from its current level of US$ 96 billion to around US$ 130 billion, it could mobilize private capital in the range of US$ 570 billion.
- This would address the US$ 700 billion in investment that the Report finds is required to put the world on a climate-resilient path towards green growth.
- Greening investment at scale is a precondition for achieving sustainable growth.
- The investment required for the water, agriculture, telecoms, power, transport, buildings, industrial and forestry sectors, according to current growth projections, stands at about US$ 5 trillion per year to 2020.
Green Growth Action Alliance Initiative, Accenture
Research Digest – February 2011
The latest WEF global risks report warns current global governance systems lack capacity to deal with global risks. The report covers economic, geopolitical, environmental, societal and technological risks with a good summary of probability/impact along with illustrative data.
- Economic disparity and global governance failures were identified as central risks in the global risk landscape, exacerbating and driving a range of other risks.
- The report identifies economic imbalances and unfunded liabilities as containing the seeds of potential future fiscal and financial crises and urges concerted coordinated action to manage them.
- Global Risks 2011 highlights three risk clusters of particular concern:
- the relationship between illicit trade, crime, corruption and state fragility;
- a set of interconnected risks tied to water, food and energy;
- and risks related to global macroeconomic imbalances.
- Twentieth century systems are failing to manage 21st century risks; we need new networked systems to identify and address global risks before they become global crises, said Robert Greenhill, Managing Director and Chief Business Officer at the World Economic Forum.
- If business leaders and decision-makers can overcome the behavioral biases towards immediate, short-term solutions and switch to longer term thinking, then they will have made significant progress in adopting an attitude suited to the mitigation of increasingly complex and interlinked global risks.
World Economic Forum
1. Morgan Stanley Added to Carbon Performance Leadership Index
Morgan Stanley is one of 29 companies from the Global 500 Index to be represented in the Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI)…
2. Report shows 16 ‘greenest firms’
The World Economic Forum has identified 16 companies from across the developing world that are sustainability champions…
3. One Universal Score Will Impact Purchase Decisions
New survey findings published in the One Green Score for One Earth sustainability research white paper suggest shoppers would increase sustainable product spending if only they could determine which products were truly green and which had been simply green-washed…
4. How to future-proof your company
Future-proofing needs collaboration, innovation, education and inspiration. Use these four primary catalysts for transformation to optimise your company’s journey and change your business mentality…
5. CSR: Carbon Social Responsibility
Monitoring carbon is a key corporate social responsibility issue. Carbon management and reduction, particularly within the built environment, construction and facilities management sector should be seen not only within sustainability/environmental terms but as a lens to understanding wider CSR impact…
6. CSR Reduces Costs
A new Harvard study shows CSR reduces capital costs. Joe Sibilia, CSRwire CEO, reports on Talkback…
7. Next Up for Cause-Related Marketing
Platforms: It’s what’s on deck for cause-related marketing. Robert Rosenthal drives home the message on Talkback…
By Wayne Visser
It’s fair to say that if you’re prone to depression, Davos is not a good place to be this year. Not only is the economic outlook gloomier than ever, but it is also snowing heavily “thus forcing everybody to dress in silly boots and bear-like coats that automatically strip even ‘masters of the universe’ of a bit of their dignity”, as BBC Radio 4 Today programme presenter Evan Davis noted.
So what have we learned so far? Here are 5 points that I took away from today:
- Growth – The IMF is expecting the global growth rate for 2009 to fall to 0.5%, meaning growth per capita will be negative. The issue of resilience is key. For example, Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Indian car manufacturer Bajaj Auto, says India’s domestic demand has made it more resilient than many countries. Should this be part of nations’ responsible competitiveness strategies in future?
- Jobs - The ILO says as many as 51 million jobs worldwide could be lost this year, pushing the world’s unemployment rate to 7.1% by the end of 2009, compared with 6.0% in 2008. Could it be that the biggest CSR issue in 2009 will be around job retention and responsible approaches to redundancy?
- Speculation - Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the leading private equity company, the Blackstone Group, says that 40% of the world’s wealth was destroyed in last five quarters. “It is an almost incomprehensible number,” he says. “Business will be very different.” Can the casino economy ever be compatible with responsibility, and will we be able to tame it?
- Trust - Companies are viewed as less trustworthy than a year ago and consumers want governments to play a greater role in business, according to a poll by Edelman. “Business really has to work its way back. It has to re-earn the trust of its broad sets of constituents,” says CEO Richard Edelman. “I think we have moved from a shareholder society to a stakeholder society, and that has massive implications.” I hope he’s right!
- Charity - South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel notes that overseas development aid to Africa is suffering: “Already, we are some $240bn (£167bn) short of the commitments made at [the 2005 G8 summit in] Gleneagles.” Surely, we can expect corporate philanthropy to suffer in equal measure?
I think WEF founder, Klaus Schwab, best sums up the challenge we face: “We have now a mass crash and we have to figure out first how we help those injured by it. Secondly, we have to find out what rules we need for the future in order to avoid this happening again.”
Finally, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, continues to be the conscience of the world, when he says: “We need to ensure the poorest in the planet – who will be hardest hit by the financial crisis – are not forgotten.” A timely reminder for what should be the central concern of CSR in the coming months?
By Wayne Visser
When the biggest news item is the (lack of) mobile phone ettiquette displayed by British Prime Mininster Gordon Brown, I begin to question the value of blogging about Davos Day 3. But then, at least his opposition party leader, David Cameron, revived yesterday’s “quest for a new capitalism” theme, calling for ”capitalism with a conscience”.
Cameron urged businesses not to ignore the interests of society in the pursuit of profits, saying it’s time for wealth to be distributed “more equally”. Now, I don’t blame you if you’re pinching yourself. No, you’re not dreaming, and yes, this is from the same conservative party that brought us free-market spin-doctor, Margaret Thatcher.
Cameron’s call on Day 3 was the exception however (that was Day 2′s theme – try to keep up David!). Most of the talk and twitter on Day 3 was about protectionism – dire warnings that this is precisely what led to the Great Depression in the 1930s and tut-tutting by German Chancellor Merkel about America’s auto-industry bale-out, which is Protectionism with a big P – protectionism of the $25 billion variety.
They may be right, but this is a bit of a tough sell on a world still fighting the runaway fires of neoliberal capitalism. What’s more, it is precisely managed protectionism that has helped sustain China’s rise to prosperity, while neither America or Europe has been prepared to forfeit their perverse agricultural or fossil fuel subsidies.
But before I head off on a tangent … the day was not totally devoid of CSR-related themes. Al Gore was seen looking much cheerier than usual, assuring us that Obama’s commitment to a post-Kyoto deal on climate change is real. Let’s hope Obama gets further with his good intentions than Gore did during his term as Vice President.
(I remember Gore at a two day training event organised by the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry in 2007, when asked what he would do differently if he was in the White House today, he said, I would be President, not Vice President! Well, he’s got the next best thing – the ear of Obama).
Denmark’s Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, politely asked rich and poor countries alike to commit to big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of year-end talks on a new climate treaty that he will host in Copenhagen. Ironically, the worldwide economic collapse may be good news for the climate, at least in the short term. Remember how Russia’s emissions went into freefall along with their economy in the early 1990s?
The messages out of Africa were sadly familiar, but no less true: Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga criticised Zimabwe’s Robert Mugabe for allowing 3,000 people to die of cholera and African leaders for not taking a unified stand against him. He admitted that corruption on the continent must be reigned in, but so too must Western companies exploiting Africa’s resources.
Amazingly, there were still a few brave, intrepid banking honchos pleading the financial industry’s case. HSBC chairman Stephen Green said that banks must not be “demonized” over the financial crisis. “Banks have clearly done things wrong. Some of the practices did not contribute, by any reasonable standards, to human welfare.”
Thanks for the apology, Steve, but you won’t get off the naughty-step that easily! Besides, if I’m not wrong, most of your mates are now working for the politicians. So we’ll let you know how we feel about the banks – demonic or otherwise – when next we place our democratic votes.
Which makes me wonder … could we be witnessing a shift from CSR to CNR – from corporate social responsibility to corporate national responsibility?
By Wayne Visser
A year after Bill Gates famously called for a new model of “creative capitalism” at Davos, it seems that business (especially the banks) took him a bit too literally. Of course, Gates didn’t mean creative loans and hedge fund activities, but his speech stands in stark contrast to this year’s “crisis capitalism” mood.
Despite Tony Blair’s reassurances that “the free enterprise system has not failed, the financial system has failed”, the most consistent refrain echoing through the chilly corridors of the World Economic Forum on Day 2 was that capitalism needs bringing back into line. The adolescent years of free market rebels without a cause are over. (I wish I believed them!)
On Day 1, all eyes seemed to be on the bankers. On Day 2, the stakes were raised and the US was in the spotlight. A number of delegates were talking about the failure of US-led capitalism and even Bill Clinton was nodding. When asked about Wen Jiabao’s thinly veiled criticism ofAmerica over the crisis, he said: “The Chinese premier was right: It all started in the United States.”
Somewhat incongruously, Valerie Jarrett, speaking as President Obama’s representative in Davos, told delegates that his message can be conveyed in one word: “responsibility”. That’s encouraging but not terribly helpful. What does it mean? Maybe the test will literally be “the ability to repond” by policians and CEOs. Too little too late some say, but watch this space.
One place to start, according a WEF report released is clean energy investment, which they claim needs to more than triple to $515bn (£360bn) a year to stop greenhouse gas emissions reaching levels deemed unsustainable by scientists. At least that’s a message Obama seems to be taking on board.
At a corporate level, at least one good news story of response-ability emerged. US firm Tupperware Brands Corp said it is unlikely to lay off staff or cut costs. Chief executive Rick Goings admonished that “the last thing to cut is your talent.” Let’s hope other CEOs are listening, although I seriously doubt it.
The annual Philanthropic Lunch, with its predictable crowd of Bill-spotters (including the Gates and Clinton varieties), seems to me a bit like a doing a band-aid dance at a chainsaw massacre party. At least it produced a pearl from Gates - philanthropy is fun and fulfilling! Well, if anyone would know, its the world’s biggest philanthropist ever, right?
Then again, wouldn’t it be better to improve capitalism as a system, so that we don’t need to rely so much on uber-philanthropists’ need for a warm-fuzzy endorphine fix? Why don’t we give responsible capitalism a try first, and then we can talk about something a bit more creative after that? How about it – do we have a deal, Bill?